Monday, July 07, 2008

Pregnant after a loss...part 1

I've been writing this post in my head for weeks. I will save it as a draft and undoubtedly go back again and again to make sure that it's right before posting it. It's a topic that is dear to me, and that I hope many of you can benefit from. At the very least, you'll know that you are not alone on this ride. While I'm at it, I would like to recommend this book To Full Term. It's a book, I believe, that anyone who is thinking of becoming pregnant or is pregnant should read. It's a memoir of a mother with four losses. One at 8 weeks, 13 weeks, and then twins at 20 weeks. She suffers from an incompetent cervix and factor V. Throughout the book she flashes back to the delivery of her twins. It felt as though she was writing the book for me. As though she was in the delivery room with me...holding my hand, whispering in my ear. Truly amazing.Anyway, I really hope that this benefits you all...some. I feel like after all we've been through, the least I can do is let others know that they will make it. Life seems to come to a stop, and trying to get it moving again is hard, to say the least. It takes time, patience, love, and grieving to get things back up and running. "They" say that it takes the average couple 4 years to come to terms with a pregnancy loss. It takes a lifetime to get over it. I can say, being 2 years out from loosing Dylan, that the pain has lessened. It's still there for sure, but it doesn't cripple me anymore. Certain things still hurt, and I don't think that will ever change.


Deciding on whether to TTC again is the hardest part. For us, we knew that we couldn't not try again. Our lives would not be complete without another child. For others, though, I know that the decision is not that cut and dry. It's a difficult decision that both you and your partner need to discuss even if it's painful to hear the answer. It's especially difficult if there is a chance that it's more likely to happen again, as with IC. It's also more difficult if you had certain health problems that would inhibit your health during another pregnancy. When Dylan was born, it was traumatic for me for obvious reasons, but Derick had an especially hard time because I couldn't pass the placenta and as a result my blood pressure dropped so low they had to give me medications and blood transfusions. It was terrifying for him. He thought he was going to loose his son and his wife all in the same day. Sometimes it's easy to overlook those feelings because we often don't think of our partners as much as we should. Grief is selfish.

If you decide to take the leap, the only way to get through it is to close your eyes, say a prayer, and jump. There is no other way around it. It's going to be scary. Terrifying, really. But once you are there, I can promise you that it isn't as bad as you think. We were lucky in that both with Riley and with Lily we got pregnant on practice cycles. I know, I know, we are probably the only people in the world that have practice cycles.

Often times, though, it isn't that easy. I wish that I knew how to address those concerns, but I don't. I only know that it's a cruel, cruel world when you've worked so hard to bring this little person into the world, you loose them, and then it takes longer than expected to bring another little person here. It's just not fair. There are no other words.

Many people ask how they know if they are ready. I have a few opinions, and maybe you don't agree...but this is my blog! First, make sure that you are able to say the name of the child that you lost out loud. DYLAN MICHAEL GIBSON and RILEY JAMES GIBSON. It's one thing to say it in your head, it's another to read and write it on paper, but if you can't say their name out loud you need more time. That is obviously different for every person. Some people will be able to do that immediately and some will take longer. Second, make sure that you can both handle TTC again because it could take longer than expected. I've seen so many women in so much pain because TTC is taking longer than it did the first time or with their angel. On the other hand, you may have tried for months to have your angel and the next time get pregnant on the first shot...which was our case which made it bittersweet when we expected it to take months. And third, be sure that you are emotionally ready to handle another loss. This one is big for me because I was not ready to try again so soon after loosing Dylan. It had only been 4 months and my life was not back to any scope of normal. Derick didn't want to try again, but was afraid to tell me because I was so deeply depressed. My life stopped when we lost Dylan, and it never started up again. So when we lost Riley it was as if the galaxy collided and we were standing in the center. It was catastrophic. Unfathomable.

The bottom line is that I know the desperation to become pregnant again. I've been there, twice. That primal urge to have life inside of you again is indescribable. Sometimes, though, it's best to wait out

My doctor also told us that he suggested we 'look into alternatives.' Meaning, he didn't think we would be able to have a child biologically. It took months of soul searching to come to the conclusion that we were ok with adopting. I understand it's not the answer for everyone, but for us we went from being completely against it and waking up the next morning searching the web for adoption agencies nearby. It was literally overnight. I still can't imagine my life without adopting a child, even if Lily get's here safe and sound.


I have another post in mind for when you do take the leap...surviving the first trimester. I'll get to that one soon, but if you'd like to add anything to this please feel free. I felt the need to write it as I see to many women unsure about things after loosing a child. Maybe it will give you some direction, or at the very least, make you feel less alone.


Azaera said...

Well said. It took C and I about 3 months before we could say Sophie outloud. And well it was sad because when we lost her we kind of cried a bit at first and then pretended to go on with life when all of a sudden one day about 3 months later it hit us like a ton of bricks and we both just broke down. We went and bought her flowers and decided that we couldn't just pretend like she never existed.

We lost her in January and it took us until April 29th before we could try again. And we got pregnant on that first try. We only had sex twice that cycle and I knew I was ovulating because of how badly I wanted a baby, (I can always tell by my emotions when I'm ovulating.)

I've just made it to the second trimester with this one, and I hope it hangs in there. I'm kind of scared though. Can't wait to read the next post.

CLC said...

I think these are good points Becky. I don't know that I will ever be able to emotionally handle another loss, but I feel as if I got to start trying now. I feel this need to move forward, and not stuck on this plateau of overwhelming grief. It is a newish feeling though and for a long time after losing Hannah I just wanted to crawl into my bed and hide- forever.

CLC said...
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Monica H said...

I can do all these things! I guess that means I'm ready.

I still struggle with accepting another loss, but since we already have a plot at the cemetery, that has to mean something, right? I know that was not really my idea, but I've come to terms with it. In a way, I see it as a blessing because it has helped me grow. I am ready to try again. No matter what happens at the end of this, I know there will be a child in our future.

mrsmuelly said...

Thank you for sharing all this. I think the saying the name aloud is a good gauge. For me that took about a month after Cooper before I could even think of saying his name aloud...and then, I would totally break. It would ruin my day. About 3-4 months out, I could handle conversations about Cooper if I initiated them. If others talked about him when I wasn't ready...I would still break. I'll be a year out this month, and I'm just now to a point that I don't want to run and hide when I hear his name. I can talk about him "normally" as a true member of our family and not a ghost.

Anonymous said...

becky you are a truly amazing human being. I am so happy that you are healing and that Lily is still right where she is supposed to be. my thoughts are always with you.

samill said...

Great post. I don't know about another loss and I certainly wasn't prepared for the time TTC would take this time round, it's come as a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. We lost our daughter 7 months ago, and I'm so terrified of trying again. I have a hard time believing I'll ever be ready... I'm terrified of losing another child.

Oh, and I love the name Lily.